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Camipa am-bro-s


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Camipa am-bro-s

  1. 1. camipaprime prospects
  2. 2. CAMIPAPrimeprospectsPanama has become a land of opportunity for themining sector. Zorel Morales of the Mining Chamberof Panama (CAMIPA) talks to Gay Sutton aboutthe prospects for the industry, and a campaign tointroduce environmental and social frameworks tothe country’s mining code
  3. 3. CAMIPA P anama has a fascinating geology, In the wave of exploration that followed, lying over four colliding tectonic the Cerro Colorado copper reserves, which plates. The presence of both had been identified by earlier government tectonic movement and volcanic exploration, were shown to be truly world activity over a long period of class. A similar class of reserves was time has created a very promising area for identified in the Petaquilla area and many mineral exploration. smaller resources of copper and gold were Mining here goes back a long way. The found around the county. However, it wasn’t region was one of Central America’s richest until the price of these commodities started sources of gold before the Spanish conquest to rise dramatically that interest grew and and mineral exploitation continued investment began to pour into the country. through to the mining moratorium in 1950. Between 1992 and 1999 gold was mined at But mining has never been Santa Rosa, and if the current highly visible in Panama, program of exploration 94,000 the country being mainly proves successful the mine renowned for its iconic will be brought back into canal. In recent years, production. Another gold however, just as engineers have been working to widen Ounces mine, Mina Cerro Quema, is under development in this unique shipping route Gold produced the Azuero Peninsula and between the Pacific and in Petaquilla Mining is scheduled to go into Atlantic oceans, several District in 2011 production next year. In factors have come together the highly prospective to bring Panamanian Petaquilla Mining District mining to the forefront once again and area exploration and mining is handled curiously, to link its progress with that of by Minera Panama, SA a wholly owned the Panama Canal. subsidiary of Inmet Mining Ltd from Canada, The formation of CAMIPA, the Mining and Petaquilla Gold, SA a Panamanian/ Chamber of Panama, in 1990 was the Canadian JV which currently operates starting point of an important shift toward the Petaquilla Gold Mine. They produced establishing mining as an industrial sector 94,000 ounces of gold in 2011. However, in Panama. “The first thing the Chamber CAMIPA’s main focus is now to bring the did was to collaborate with the government highly rich Petaquilla copper resource into of the time to set up changes to the mining production. Expected to cost in the region code,” explained CAMIPA executive director of $5 billion the project will culminate in Drill program in Zorel Morales. “This opened the way for the opening of the Cobre Panama Mine. the Panama Canal private companies to undertake exploration The timing of this major developmentExpansion Program across the country.” could not have been more propitious from
  4. 4. CAMIPAthe skills perspective. “There are currentlyaround 10,000 people working on the canalwidening project. If everything continuesas expected, Cobre Panama will reachthe peak of employment at the time thecanal project reaches completion in 2016,”Morales said. “The workforce released fromthat project will have exactly the right skillsfor mine construction.” This will providean ample supply of highly skilled minersfor Cobre Panama and other mines underdevelopment, as well as job continuity forthe Panamanian workforce. CAMIPA is an association of some 30mining, services and consulting companiesoperating in both the metallic and non-metallic mining sectors and plays a leadingrole in developing the mining sector inPanama. This year sees the culmination Mills on the Molejón Gold projectof a campaign to create a pipeline ofhighly trained Panamanian engineers “When we made the first changes to frameworks into the mining code, to government, companies and institutions.and geologists for the rapidly expanding the mining code in 1990 they were very protect the environment and ensure that “But now is not the right time tosector. “We have been working with the successful and opened the country to the benefits from mining are shared with open this dialogue,” Morales said. “TwoUniversidad Tecnológica de Panamá, mining and exploration. However, they the local communities in a way that is years ago the government attempted toand they will begin offering degrees in didn’t include any environmental and sustainable and will continue to benefit introduce its own changes to the mininggeological engineering this year,” Morales social impact policies, simply because they them once the mines have closed. “We feel law without consulting anyone.” Ignoringcontinued. “They will then widen this to were not an issue at that time,” Morales we have a great opportunity to do this, and the interests of the indigenous peopleinclude mining engineering.” said. “They are now.” do it well,” Morales continued. “We can learn has proved immensely damaging. Cerro Perhaps the biggest challenge for CAMIPA wants to introduce from the experiences of other countries, and Colorado, the country’s biggest copperCAMIPA, is a battle still to be fought. environmental, social and mine-closure introduce the best elements from the start.” deposit, is located on the Indian Comarca The organization has already prepared lands, and after a dispute and considerable a significant body of material, gained the unrest over government plans to construct “The workforce released from the cooperation of international companies and institutions, and drawn on experiences hydropower plants in the area, the government has been forced to back down canal project will have exactly the right around the world. The next step is to open a national dialogue, involving everyone and ban hydropower plant construction as well as mining in the Comarca. skills for mine construction” with an interest in the subject, including the Indian people, local communities, the “We can’t begin this dialogue until the government has resolved its issues with the
  5. 5. CAMIPAIndians. In the meantime, Cobre Panama is of impressive environmental achievements.a world-class project and the environmental, The Petaquilla lies in the MesoAmericansocial and technical aspects are being biological corridor, a protected forest thathandled very well,” Morales explained. in Panama has been devastated by the“We believe that when the Indians see the growth of subsistence agriculture. An areabenefits it brings to the local communities that once boasted millions of hectares ofin terms of employment, sustainable forest now has just 250,000 hectaresbusinesses and industries, healthcare and so remaining. “Minera Panama undertookon, it will be very persuasive argument, and a study with universities and institutionsthey will want some of this for themselves.” from the US and Canada, which showed Minera Panama, SA already has a record that by 2050 there would be only 15,000 ha “We can learn from the experiences of other countries, and introduce the best elements from the start” Parade for mining with the participation of more than 2000 people, on March 10 in the province of Cocle left. On the basis of this, they have put into production it will produce 250 million action an environmental management plan tonnes of copper a year. To give you an to ensure that further degradation will not idea of scale, the Panama Canal currently occur from now on.” produces a profit to the country of around More than that, the company is working $1.5 billion a year, but with Cobre Panama, to protect biodiversity, and relocate mining will produce more than that from a endangered species to ensure their survival. mixture of royalties, taxes and investment Educational programs are being rolled out into social and environmental management to the farming communities with topics as plans. So to sum up, we currently have some wide ranging as the use of insecticides and great projects in hand, but there are plenty fertilizers, modern farming techniques, of opportunities for further exploration forming cooperatives, developing marketing and development. After all we have only chains, taking care of the forest and even explored around 40 percent of the country starting alternative businesses. and the rest is still to be done.” As mining continues to become established in Panama, there are great For more information about opportunities for the future. “Gold is already CAMIPA visit: the biggest export from Panama,” Morales www.camipa.orgControl room to monitor the process of Petaquilla Gold LTD said, “and when Cobre Panama goes into
  6. 6. CAMIPAT 393-8388www.camipa.orgProduced